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Colon Cancer Quality Reports

Colon cancer occurs in the colon, or the first four to five feet of the large intestine. The colon and rectum are the two main parts of the large intestine. Although the colon is only one part of the large intestine, because most of the large intestine consists of colon, the two terms are often used interchangeably. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of death from cancer among men and women in the United States.

What does the National Cancer Database show?

Adjuvant Chemotherapy

The following chart shows the percentage of patients where adjuvant (an agent that enhances the effectiveness of overall treatment) chemotherapy is considered or administered within four months (120 days) of diagnosis for patients under the age of 80 with American Joint Committee on Cancer Stage III (lymph node positive) colon cancer. Performance rates are according to recognized standards of care.

Why does this matter?
It is important to start cancer chemotherapy treatment in a timely manner to achieve better patient outcomes.

Radiation Therapy 2013 2012 2011
Spectrum Health 95.5% 93.3% 95.2%
Michigan 85.4% 90% 94.2%
All Commission on Cancer Programs 87.1% 89.3% 92.1%

Lymph Node Removal

The following chart shows the percentage of patients where at least 12 regional lymph nodes are removed and pathologically examined for resected colon cancer.

Why does this matter?
It is important to remove and evaluate enough regional lymph nodes to know whether the lymph nodes are involved with cancer or not. The treatment plan would be different if the regional lymph nodes are found to be pathologically positive for cancer.

               
Radiation Therapy 2013 2012 2011
Spectrum Health 93.5% 94.8% 96.4%
Michigan 91% 88.5% 88%
All Commission on Cancer Programs 89.8% 88.2% 87.6%